I know this isn't an interesting post, it's probably my 100th post on the subject. I try to avoid even reading about this stuff because no one cares. But I quit tumblr, so sometimes I have to say boring emotional stuff on my regular blog.
1. It's so dumb to think that listening to PWD aside from your own kid means that you have to obey and agree with everything they say! PWD don't even all have the same life experiences or opinions. Why don't you just treat people with disabilities like people with disabilities who might have something to say that is important and, even if they don't, don't deserve to be personally attacked?
"But I didn't personally attack anyone!"
Oh yeah, I've heard that before...too bad Ability Statements Are a Personal Attack! There's no way you would be into it if I started making assumptions about your kid or your life so why do you think disabled people should be all calm about you doing the same to us?
No disabled person wants a bunch of parents following them around and obsessing over their lives and worshipping them. Well some people do, but they're famous and they try not to talk politics because it might distract from the worship. You're not talking to those people, you're talking mostly to some really young/not-famous people with disabilities who don't want to profit from our disabilities but just want to be able to talk about them. We don't want you to agree with everything we say, we just want you to stop being disrespectful and acting like we're not even here.
This is especially annoying when used as an origin story, like, "I used to believe everything that disabled people on the Internet said, until someone told me that one person wasn't diagnosed with the disability they said they were diagnosed with, so now I don't believe ANY disabled people on the Internet." If you legit were believing everything all disabled people said AND prioritizing what they said over your own common sense and experience with your kid--instead of just listening to them like you would listen to any normal person, and thinking about what they said critically--well, why were you doing that? Why do we have to be always right or always wrong?
We're just OTHER PEOPLE, like you.
2. If I see the word high-functioning used one more time by someone who is claiming to be evenhanded...okay I'll probably have the same reaction as usual. Super big sigh, bad mood, usually avoiding a conversation with that person. That word just feels like they are stepping on other people and not even noticing or seeing why it's important.
3. It's not that weird that people from a certain minority group involved in advocacy would not be representative of everyone in their group. I remember someone (non-disabled obviously) making a comparison between gay advocates and Autistic advocates, and hastening to add, "except, the difference is not all Autistic people can do this kind of advocacy."
Yeah, okay, what about gay people who don't have the money or the mobility or the cognitive or emotional ability to participate in a certain kind of advocacy? Since we're always on the subject, what about gay people who have multiple severe disabilities? What about gay people who smear feces?
I would like to see mainstream gay advocates acknowledging gay disabled people more, obviously, but what I'm saying is I don't think you automatically have the right to discredit advocates just because they aren't a perfect microcosm of the community they are supporting. For example, people who can use the Internet independently, and read and type fluently, are more likely to be involved in blogging or having conversations on blogs. People who can use the Internet independently were more likely to find out about The Loud Hands Project and submit clips of themselves for the video. (According to one guy we all dress like "hipsters," and therefore don't have real autism. I'm still trying to figure out what people with real autism dress like? Probably guayabera shirts.)
I think it sucks that many kinds of anti-ableist advocacy aren't accessible to a lot of disabled people and I would like to change that. (I know that one of the goals of The Loud Hands Project is to do exactly that.) But I don't think, given the current lack of support, there is anything surprising when most disabled people who have anti-ableism blogs or attend meetings of disability rights organizations have certain abilities that make it easier (or at least possible) for them to do those things without support. It also doesn't mean they aren't severely affected in other areas, but no one cares about that, blogging is ~the most important thing in the world, ever.
4. Finally, just stop saying high-functioning! Again! It makes it impossible to talk to you because my head is going to DROWN in how annoying you are.
Especially if your kid is also "high-functioning" or could be classified that way, but for some reason you're neglecting to mention that. Maybe because you secretly sense what a shitty word that is to describe someone who's having a really difficult time! Or, maybe because you don't want to lose points in the argument. Possibly both! No one knows.
Like I said, this is probably the 100th post I've written on this subject and I swear to God, I don't think a single parent has ever read something like this and changed their mind and realized they were treating other people badly. Seriously. 100 posts. All bouncing straight back into my own mind.
If you have known me for a while, you probably remember my 2010 campaign to acquire a severe developmental disability by throwing myself in front of a FedEx truck before my 22nd birthday. Since I've missed the legal cutoff I would now have to throw myself a bit harder, or drink Drano, to get out the high-functioning deal. I know you think this is really insensitive and insulting to you and your kid, but try and think about WHY I would feel like that is a smart or reasonable thing to do. Because I really, really did feel that way.
A friend of mine recently described himself as "too disabled to work, not disabled enough to get disability benefits." If you think that kind of life situation is best described as "functioning," then you are a shit. Seriously. When I look at you, I don't see a person. I see a turd.
Of course I know you don't see anything when you look at me either!